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Preview: Colchester (A)

19 January 2016

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Colchester 1-1 Fleetwood Town

Eggert Jonsson's second half equaliser ensured Fleetwood Town returned to Lancashire with a point after a 1-1 draw against Colchester United at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Alex Gilbey had given the U's a first half lead but Jonsson and Town fired back in the second half to ensure they received a share of the spoils.

Manager Steven Pressley named an unchanged line up from the 1-1 draw against Barnsley ten days ago.

The notable inclusions were on the substitutes bench, as Jamille Matt, who recently returned from a loan spell at League Two side Stevenage and youngster Keano Deacon, were named.

On a bitterly cold evening in Essex, it was a quiet opening 15 minutes, until Town had a spectacular chance to go ahead in the 17th minute.

Jamie Proctor, positioned on the left hand side of a three man attack, slammed over from inside the penalty box following a cross from the opposite flank from Conor McLaughlin.

Both teams were showing promising signs going forward but unable to find the cutthroat pass to test either of the goalkeepers.

Bobby Grant and Gavin Massey both had efforts midway through the half from 25-yards out, both just wide of the post.

Town were seeing a lot more of possession, however, a defensive mishap with eight minutes remaining of the first half handed the U’s the lead.

Possession was handed to Colchester inside the Town half, and Gilbey fired a low effort which creeped past Chris Maxwell into the far corner.

The second half began with Colchester United creating two early scoring opportunities. The best of these fell to goal scorer Gilbey who forced Maxwell to make a quick low save.

Northern Irish international McLaughlin, in search of his second goal of the season, came close to claiming that accolade in the 53rd minute.

Town’s number two cut inside of the United’s left back Matt Briggs but his right footed strike from the edge of the area was straight at Colchester’s keeper Jake Kean.

The manager made his first change in the 59th minute as Ashley Hunter was withdrawn for the returning Matt.

And one minute later, Jonsson blasted Town back level with a venomous volley, a goal the Cod Army thoroughly deserved.

The equaliser came from Proctor’s fast feet on the left hand side to deliver a cross into the penalty area. Colchester initially cleared the ball but it fell kindly to the Icelandic international to smash past Kean.

Colchester retaliated with two further attacks of their own as Chris Porter had a strike saved by Maxwell’s feet and Owen Garven was off target.

The second half had more of a bite than the first as both teams looked for the all-important third goal. 

Winning a flick on, Proctor played Antoni Sarcevic into a goal scoring position but United’s defence got behind the ball, resulted in Sarcevic crashing an effort into the side netting.

Colchester substitute Drey Wright nearly made an immediate impact on the game, catching Maxwell unaware to send a low shot just wide of the post.

Town’s second change saw Proctor replaced by Nick Haughton, who slotted into the left wing position.

Haughton was lively as soon as he came on, and with eight minutes to go, he wriggled his way through the United defence to cross for Matt, his flick dropped to Sarcevic who unfortunately sliced wide.

The youngster than nearly found the elusive winner just two minutes later. Collecting a 40-yard pass from Grant, Haughton cut inside from the left to strike inches wide of the post.

George Moncur and Haughton both had late efforts but the save of the game was left until added time as a world class stop from Maxwell denied Gilbey a second.

Town will be next in action on Saturday against Darren Ferguson's Doncaster Rovers. The ticket office is open Monday-Friday, 9am until 5pm and 9am until kick-off on Saturday.

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